Isac Walter wears a different t-shirt every day. Because of his unusual hobby and the publicity he began to attract, he was featured in Forbes Magazine back in December of 2011. It was an idea that had legs the way band t-shirts have arms. The music industry’s business model is no longer centered on recordings or concerts.Since the arrival of the digital age in music delivery, merchandising has picked up at least some of the slack. But it’s not just the music industry suits who appreciate rock apparel. For them, it may be a much-needed revenue-generator. Fans love rock t-shirts as a way of expressing their appreciation of the musicians they follow. Isac Walter is no exception. Wearing a band’s music t-shirt is his way of saying “thank you” to the performers who provide the soundtrack for his life. We caught up with him via email recently to see what makes him do it and here’s what we found out:
RTS: When did you begin collecting rock and roll t-shirts?
IW: Since I started going to shows. My mom was in a band, loved music, and so she would take me to see bands play, and when I turned into a teen and discovered punk, I would start going to shows all the time. You buy shirts at shows and your collection just grows and grows. Before you know it, your closet is overflowing with shirts.
RTS: What was your motivation? Did you just happen to fall into it or was it something you thought about for a while before you began to collect seriously? What was your goal?
IW: It wasn’t until I started doing the blog that I ever considered myself a collector. I was just a hoarder. But as you display the stuff you realize it is a cool collection and then…BOOM! you are a collector!
RTS: Do you consider yourself primarily an artist first or a collector?
IW: I am a collector. I think I can be artistic, but I think as an artist it is your primary goal in life. This is secondary for me, easily.
RTS: What role does music play in your personal life and/or professional life?
IW: It’s always been a part, I just can’t imagine living life without it. I still go to shows and buy shirts to this day.
RTS: What role does your enthusiasm for rock and roll have in helping you decide what to wear on a given day?
IW: Sometimes you wake up humming a tune, sometimes you wake up and it is a gray gloomy day, sometimes you get up and it’s a nice sunny 70-degree day with pretty clouds. All of this comes into account when I go to reach for a shirt. Sometimes I’m just pumped and looking forward to seeing a band, others I am still on a high from seeing a band or listening to their album on repeat.
RTS: What are the best ways to get your work before the public besides blogging?
IW: Rent out a room in my house?
RTS: How long do you see yourself continuing to wear a different t-shirt every day?
IW: No clue, sometimes I hate it, sometimes I just want to see if I can go through my entire collection, often it’s just part of waking up that day. I really have no idea.
RTS: Do you make your living primarily from collecting or is it supported by a day job?
IW: I make zero dollars from collecting. I have a day job.
RTS: What do you consider the major influence on your work?
IW: Cotton. And needing something to cover my chest on a daily basis. Also, a book called Disposable by Sean Cliver has influenced me.
RTS: What are your plans for the next ten years?
IW: I barely have a plan for the next 10 minutes, let alone 10 years.